Amy Si-Ying Lee
Mechanisms and Regulation of Specialized mRNA Translational Control
Exquisite regulation of the expression of different sets of proteins in each cell is essential for a multitude of biological processes, including cell differentiation, signaling, and immunity. Research in my group is focused on the molecular basis of the gene regulation required for correct organismal development. Specifically, my lab studies the mechanisms of mRNA translational control, which are poorly understood despite translation being a fundamental stage of gene expression. .
As a postdoctoral fellow, I discovered that the translation initiation factor eIF3 has additional functions outside of global translation in activating or repressing the translation of specific mRNAs encoding proteins important for cell differentiation and proliferation. It is a critical next step to understand the molecular basis by which initiation factors have distinct roles in specialized versus general translation. To obtain broad insights into translation regulation, we take an integrative approach combining structural biology, RNA-protein biochemistry, cell-based experiments, sequencing, and computational approaches. We aim to discover and provide mechanistic understanding of the translation regulation networks that coordinate the precise control required for correct development and cellular function.